Date: 4 December, 2012
American honours: Long-time Waikato Hospital dermatologist Amanda Oakley has gained two prestigious honours this year.
It’s been a big year for Waikato Hospital dermatologist Amanda Oakley.
She was recently awarded Honorary Membership of the American Academy of Dermatology. This is a rare honour and seldom conferred on a non-American. She will be presented with a plaque on 1 March 2013, at the annual meeting of the academy in Miami Beach, Florida.
Earlier this year Dr Oakley was nominated as an International Honorary Member in the American Dermatological Association. She was inducted into the ADA when attending its annual meeting in Washington DC in October.
The association is a small prestigious organisation of about 300 members. She has been a member of the 18,000-strong academy for 20 years as an international fellow.
“They both came as a bit of a surprise. Both are a huge honour,” Dr Oakley says.
Although no reason was given for her elevation in the world of dermatology, she strongly suspects it is linked to her work with creating and managing DermNetNZ.org, the website of the New Zealand Dermatological Society. The site receives one million visitors each month and is popular among dermatologists and other health professionals worldwide.
Dr Oakley started work on the site in 1995, getting it up and running the following year. Since then there has been “non-stop expansion”.
“It’s a free, readily-available rapid-loading summary of information,” says Dr Oakley who is still chief editor and website manager and puts in 30-40 hours a month on the site.
While she describes herself as a “cutter and paster” the site has helped revolutionise medical digital referencing. Dr Oakley has also been a trailblazer in “tele” dermatology and video conferencing.
She qualified from Bristol University Medical School in 1979 and then emigrated to New Zealand. Her postgraduate training in dermatology was undertaken in New Zealand and the United Kingdom (Westminster and Durham). She has been a specialist dermatologist for Health Waikato since 1987.
She is a general dermatologist particularly interested in the management of ageing skin including medical management of skin cancers, photosensitivity disorders, phototherapy, psoriasis and gynaecological skin disorders. Academic interests include health informatics (telemedicine and internet medicine), dermatoscopy, clinical trials and teaching.
Dr Oakley is president of the NZ Dermatological Society, president of the Australian and New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society, website manager of NZ DermNet, Honorary Associate Professor at Auckland School of Medicine, Fellow Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Dermoscopist for Molemap NZ Ltd, Member New Zealand Medical Association, website manager for Australian and New Zealand Society for Vulvovaginal Disease, Member of the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease, managing editor of the technology section of Medscape dermatology, and was co-editor of the first Textbook of Teledermatology. She also writes a monthly column for New Zealand Doctor.
Dr Oakley said she could not do all that without the help of her colleagues in Dermatology at Waikato Hospital. “I’d like to thank them for their support over many years. We are lucky to have such an excellent team.”
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About Waikato District Health Board and Health Waikato:
Waikato DHB is responsible for planning, funding and providing quality health and disability support services for the 372,865 people living in the Waikato DHB region. It has an annual turnover of $1.2 billion and employs more than 6000 people.
Health Waikato is the DHB’s main provider of hospital and health services with an annual budget of more than $701 million and 5238 staff. It has six groups across five hospital sites, three primary birthing units, two continuing care facilities and 20 community bases offering a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary health services.
A wide range of independent providers deliver other Waikato DHB-funded health services - including primary health, pharmacies and community laboratories.